Opening Reception: Friday, October 5, from 5-7 pm.
This October, Red Lodge Clay Center will present MOUNTED. An exhibit featuring the works of Lindsay Pichaske, Adelaide Paul, Ryan Blackwell, Thaddeus Erdahl, Amy Santoferraro, Christine Golden, Undine Brod and Roxanne Jackson. Topical to many regions is the ritual of hunting season and the provision of food. Just beyond the border of a ritual born of need are taxidermy arts, which can serve as an analogy for Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The aforementioned survivalist skill sets are about harnessing natural elements. Decorative or trophy mounting came after our basic needs as humans were met. The work featured in this exhibit will, hopefully, explore the realm beyond basic needs and delve into hazards of modernity with frivolous, dark, and poignant mounts.
The exhibition will be posted online, Monday, October 7 by 10 am at the Red Lodge Clay Center’s website.
Artists interpretation of the living world in Sculpture, Painting & Installation.
The wild life of wildlife. A flower growing through the crack in the pavement, the ivy scaling the fascia of a building, camouflaging, cloaking, pulling it to the ground, the tree growing around a concrete pillar, engulfing it slowly, morphing year on year. The birds nest in the rafters of a roof, made up of twigs and plastic ties, the nested young being fed the preservative pumped, calorie powered garbage bin rewards. These are glimpses of wildlife interacting, adjusting, adapting to the environment that we’ve created, over, around, on top of it, the once green meadow now a sea of steel work, glass and poured concrete, trees confined to their architect planned and perfectly aligned boxes. But our wild life, this wildlife is playing a slow game, a slow deathly dance between the static, lifeless concrete structures we’ve built and the unstoppable force of nature. Adapt or be adapted, adjust or be adjusted, remember me? I was here before you, I’ve always been here, you need me, I am life. Is mother nature reclaiming our temporary oasis or is it adapting to the obstacles that we’ve put in its way or are we now having to listen to the reminder that this place is not ours, we are simply borrowing it?
Confirmed Artists: Josie Morway (Painter) Rose Sanderson (Painter) Jennifer Murphy (Collage) Kelly Allen - (Painter) D*Face (Mixed media) Dan Witz (Mixed media) Jake Wood Evans (Painter) Roxanne Jackson (Sculptor) Kelly McCallum (Sculptor) Jessica Joslin (Sculptor) Kai & Sunny (Mixed media) Katja Holtz (Painter) Renhui Zhao (Mixed Media)
In wilderness I sense the miracle of life, and behind it our scientific accomplishments fade to trivia. How long can men thrive between walls of brick, walking on asphalt pavements, breathing the fumes of coal and of oil, growing, working, dying, with hardly a thought of wind, and sky, and fields of grain, seeing only machine-made beauty, the mineral-like quality of life. If I had to choose, I would rather have birds than airplanes. - Charles Lindbergh
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Ceramics Now Magazine: The theme of your works is very dramatic and sometimes macabre. Why did you take this challenge of confronting with your subconscious?
Roxanne Jackson: I want to make work about whatever comes natural to me. Instead of, for instance, sitting down to brainstorm different ideas to see what comes up, and then pick the ‘best one’ to use, I would rather see what surfaces naturally— when it is uncensored. Of course I am making decisions but, I allow room for intuition—rather than forcing the work to go in a particular direction. Art certainly has many roles—one is to depict and create beautiful objects. But, that is not the only way art can serve us.
We all know that the human nature has a dark side. You explore and question this side with your works and with what they express. Do you find exploring this side of human nature to be hard?
Not at all. I find the work honest and refreshing. I am currently building a two-part piece to be installed at Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens (Long Island City), New York this fall. Socrates is a contemporary sculpture park which support truly innovative outdoor sculpture. I am creating two dead animals—one will be a white unicorn (with a crystal formation for the horn)—made from fired ceramic. The other form will be a life-sized adobe (and cement) buffalo, also dead. I am creating this work to comment on traditional outdoor sculpture that commonly depicts animals—usually, the powerful, regal stag in its prime-is represented (and cast in bronze). I have often wanted to see a nature sculpture that depicts an animal that is aging, for instance. Because, then the work would raise a different type of emotion and/or empathy within the viewer. In the same way the viewer can identify with beauty, she or he can also identify with pain, aging and all sorts of other complicated emotions. So, since I have never seen any outdoor sculpture like this, I decided to just make it myself.
“In my work, I explore images of extinction, death and transformation. I am fascinated with the natural processes of decay and destruction—particularly when in conflict with human systems. Nature is referenced, not by depicting the virile stag, but by illustrating its inevitable decay. Valuing macabre sensibilities, I create sculptures that cross over the slippery edge of life into what might lie beyond.
An investigation of the unconscious mind and our inextricable link to the animal world may reveal certain truths about the human condition. “Lyuba Twins” is a purposely-ambiguous sculpture—the animals, although realistically rendered, are non-specific in species (are they deer, sheep, baby buffaloes)? They are also defined as neither alive or dead. The viewer is invited to interpret the sculpture in a similar way that a ‘subject’ is asked to interpret an inkblot from the legendary Rorschach Technique. As the interpretation of the inkblot theoretically reveals a description of the subconscious mind of the subject, the viewers’ interpretation of this piece may also provide insight.
Occasionally, I use imagery from horror films and the moment of transformation—particularly, when a human becomes a beast. This transgressive imagery creates tension in the work, especially when produced from the medium of clay—with its strong historical ties to comfort and beauty. Rooted in traditions of pantheism and superstition, the horror movie depicts a dark side of human nature. Mutated creatures, such as the ravenous werewolf, are created in the murky depths of our collective subconscious. These images ride the boundaries between animal and human, instinct and reason, the conscious and the subconscious.
In a more humorous tone, recent pieces such as “Hoof Heels” also evoke our inextricable link to the animal world. The heels are inspired by both contemporary fashion trends (Designer AF Vandevorst) and ancient folklore (Pan). They imply that the fashion-conscious viewer can easily embody the primal, animal self.
This investigation reveals the honesty of humanity. Embracing all aspects of ourselves, taking a closer look at the “shadow side” of the human condition is my attempt to discover truth. This truth stems from acknowledging our imperfections and recognizing humanness (and dignity). Comprised of evocative, poignant layers of meaning, I invite the viewer to contemplate what it means to be human, to connect with a deeper side of oneself.” Roxanne Jackson